Uncomfortably Content

My first few years of marriage were a real struggle. Within three months of saying “I do,” I was pregnant with our first child, and three months into that, we moved to the Big Apple. My husband embarked on a second career in investment banking (i.e. the job where you live at work and go home once a week) while I stayed at home with a newborn baby, alone, isolated, no friends, no family, and suffering from post-partum depression in a 6th floor walk-up with a dog who had to be walked three times a day.

Suffice to say that we’ve come a long way since then — five years later, we have new jobs and roles in a completely different place. We’ve both matured a ton. We’ve had a second child. We’ve put a lot of work into building a stronger connection to one another. And things are just easier.

Recently, I was thinking about how content I am. “Life is good,” I thought. And then these pesky little words popped into my mind: “…for now.”

I felt jolted — for now? What does that mean?

Well, it seems that contentment is a strange and elusive thing. We all long for it, yet when we find it, we often have trouble enjoying it. With everyone around us constantly sharing their struggles, contentment in our own lives can make us feel guilty (“What did I do to deserve this?”) and it can make us feel suspicious or nervous (“Things are too easy right now.”) Julia Cameron once wrote something to the effect of, “Why does happiness make us feel like something is wrong?”

I realized that, in our culture at least, contentment is often dualistic. It feels both good and bad; it’s desired yet uncomfortable. So I knew I had to incorporate this state into my Of Land & Sea collection. But I wanted the image overall to emulate the positive side of contentment, the other things we feel when we’re in that state: happiness, enjoyment, mindfulness, appreciation, and the sense of time standing still.

I think this one — #4 of 5 — does just that.

Click here for more info about my collection “Of Land & Sea.”

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